I find to this day seven abominations in my heart: (1) An inclination to unbelief (2) Suddenly forgetting the love and mercy that Christ shows us. (3) A leaning to the works of the Law. (4) Wanderings and coldness in prayer. (5) Forgetting to watch for that which I have prayed for. (6) A tendency to murmur because I have no more, and yet a willingness to abuse what I have. (7) I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust themselves upon me so that "When I would do good, evil is present with me." These things I continually see and feel and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God orders them for my good. (1) They make me abhor myself. (2) They keep me from trusting my heart. (3) They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness. (4) They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus. (5) They press me to pray to God. (6) They show me the need I have to watch and be sober. (7) And they provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me and carry me through this world. Amen. (Paul Bunyan)
Taken from Treasury of Daily Prayer - (CPH, 2008) - p. 113
The Man who sits at the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1) insists on ruling, but the world will not put up with Him and says: "We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:4). Yet He must rule for the sake of him who says: "Sit Thou at My right hand" (Psalm 110:1). Moreover, this King acts as if He were down and were being ruled over by everybody, as if He were completely impotent. And yet that which has been written stands: "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven and in earth" (Psalm 135:6). Who is wise? He who understnads this rule. (Dr. Martin Luther)
The Day of Pentecost initiated a miracle of speaking and hearing and washing and eating! Jesus had said it was to our advantage that He go away and send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). That advantage is immediately seen as His disciples boldly proclaimed the crucified and risen Christ and those who had crucified Him were cut to the heart! That advantage is wondrously seen in God's command to be baptized (washed) for the forgiveness of sins! That advantage is ongoingly seen as the Holy Spirit led the Church in steadfast devotion to the fellowship and the prayers that flowed from and were centered in the Apostle's Teaching and the Lord's Supper (breaking of bread) (Acts 2:42).
What an advantage for you - who have received the washing of rebirth (Titus 3) and been clothed with Christ (Gal 3)! What an advantage for you who have been gifted with faith by the Holy Spirit! What an advantage for you as the risen Christ comes each week to teach you (the Apostle's Doctrine) and to feed you (the breaking of bread)!
The means of the Holy Spirit have not changed since that first Pentecost! He brings Jesus to you with words and water and bread and wine! The gifts He gives you therein carry with them forgiveness of sins, life and salvation! The gifts He gives you carry with them an eternal advantage!
Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And You, from both, as Three in One
That we Your name may ever bless
And in our lives the truth confess.
Praise we the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, with them One,
And may the Son of us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow!
(LSB - #498, Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest)
Christ from heav'n to us descending
And in love our race befriending;
In our need His help extending,
Saved us from the wily foe.
From the bondage that oppressed us,
From sin's fetters that possessed us,
From the grief that sore distressed us,
We the captives, now are free.
(LSB 375, Stanzas 2 & 4).